Thursday, June 4, 2020

Welcoming Summer! May 31 - June 2, 2020

Rainbows and boats! 
Too bad the boat is not at the end of the rainbow! 
This was on Saturday May 30 while the peaceful protestors were downtown Charleston, which later turned unpeaceful. I wish it could always be a rainbow day!

We have been home for 5 weeks from our spring cruise which ended early because of the pandemic and we continued to stay home. For a change of scenery, we decided to get away and take a 2 night cruise so we packed up and cruised over to South Creek (aka Ocella Creek) between Edisto Island and Botany Bay Island. This view is towards the Edisto River and Seabrook Island.
It is a bit tricky getting into the creek but once you know the secret path, its a breeze!
🎼🎼 Summer Breeze...🎼 makes me feel fine...🎼🎼

The hydrangeas and gardenias and iris are blooming like crazy right now in the yard so I brought some along to enjoy 

We spent the 2 days in the creek running around the other little creeks from there and exploring. The dinghy motor was acting up again when we last used it so we want to check it out as much as possible. 

There are several oyster farms in the creek. This one is quite long but there is a smaller one not too far from our anchorage around the bend. 

Sunsets were beautiful. Birds and dolphins were plentiful.

One of our excursions was to the beach. We tried to pull up to Botany Bay beach but the shells were just too plentiful and we were afraid of ripping another slash in the dinghy and the current was fierce.
We ended crossing the Edisto River over the Seabrook side and pulled up to the St Christopher Camp area which was a much better dinghy stopping place. 

It was low tide as you can tell from this buoy. 

We had a great walk on the beach.

A short trip welcoming summer. 
The weather was great as the humidity was down and we had a wonderful seabreeze, never needed the AC!

Back home on Tuesday evening and we were welcomed by more blooms on the hydrangea. The one at the dock seems to really love that spot. This particular plant is one that we saved from the property over 10 years ago. It was a lone plant in the middle of the lot right where the driveway needed to go. We uprooted it and managed to save it and it happily can't decide whether to be blue or pink.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Saturday, April 25 and Sunday April 26 - HOME!

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Sunrise in Bull Creek, behind Dafuskie Island, across from Hilton Head. SC and not far from Tybee Island GA. We left early on Saturday morning, about 6:45 AM and the anchor came up just fine after our "issue" last night of it not wanting to release from the windlass. We think that the pall (sp?) got put into the wrong position after it jumped off the gypsy earlier in the day. 

Passing by Parris Island, a Marine Corps Recruit Depot, then Beaufort. That was our original stop for tonight but we were making great time so onward we went!

St Helena Sound was the gentlest we have ever seen it! No, Bruce is not asleep but reading a book on his phone.

Dawhoo River, we took a chance!
We decided to use the unpublished "deeper"route. 
Bob Sherer has tested it and so did we with our 17' Key West about 2 years ago and were surprised by the deep water instead of plowing through the ICW route there. 
The ICW official route is on the right. Our route today is on the left. 
The lowest we saw was 7.3'.

The deepest we saw was actually 20'

The scariest part was at 1st going south to north or what ever it is there but coming from Edisto, as we had to cross a section where the charts say it is 3'. Well it is not. That is where we had 7.3 under our 4.7 keel! 

We are on the Toogoodoo Creek finally but it is late afternoon and low tide. We will not be able to cross until tomorrow morning, because we aren't going to do it in the dark!
We did lower the dinghy and go home! We chatted with Hugh and Genny on the way there but basically since we could, we wanted to make sure our dock lines were in position for our arrival and lower the AC and turn on the hot water heater and ice machines. Why not!

Sunset on the Toogoodoo!

We were so close to home but just could not get there!

Miles today 68
Sunday April 26  HOME DAY!

Sunrise on the Toogoodoo. 

We were able to move on over the sandbar by 10 AM on Sunday morning and it was one of the best dockings that Captain Bruce has ever done. He has perfected it so that we don't bust any more balls.
Conditions were perfect which helped tremendously as the tide/current runs rapid through here. 

Summer Breeze nestled at her home dock!

Our 2020 trip. 1514 miles total!
(The Abacos Bahamas trip last year was 1475!)

Charleston to Key West, back up the Gulf Coast to Ft Myers and across Florida on the Caloosahatchie River and Okeechobee Lake (aka Smuggler's Run or the FL Mini Loop) to Stuart and up back the east coast to HOME!

Thank you for following us.
Captains Bruce and Rosie 
1st Mate Bella

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Friday April 24

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Tuesday April 21

Under way by 6:45 AM. We are at the point of "it is time to go home".

"Who Let The Dogs Out?"
Remember that song? That is how we felt in Florida the last couple of days! As we go through northern Florida, we see that there are TONS of small boaters out, fishing and just running around. The governor has opened the beaches and boat ramps but no one is working yet! So they are all out here!

Florida is very pro Trump. As you can see even the barges support Trump.

Finally, we cross the Florida border into Georgia, which was quite interesting as the Navy was doing live fire exercises and we had to deal with Navy helicopters, police boats, currents, shoals and renegade small boaters... all at the same time. It was definitely ALL HANDS ON DECK time.  

We finally to Cumberland Island, GA. This has been one of our favorite stops in the past as we love to walk the trails and beaches and suddenly walk upon some wild horses grazing and not bothered by us at all. Sometimes we see them, sometimes we don't. This time, we are not allowed to get off the boat (at least we are allowed to anchor there still where the new GA laws left that as an uncertain), but as we putt putt along to our anchorage spot, we see one of the buildings of the national park with the big PARK CLOSED sign and the wild horses just grazing to their hearts content. 

We anchored close to our Serendipity friends, Larry and Erin. They came to meet us in the Toogoodoo Creek last fall before their journey south and here we are!

So, we have a social distancing happy hour with our stern to their bow and our hand held VHF radios. Next time or some time soon, we hope to do so within 6' of each other!

Yes we are looking kinda scruffy!

Sunset at Cumberland Island.
Miles today 80, a long day after 3 days of no travel. 

Wed April 22
Under way 6:40 AM from Cumberland Island.
Serendipity behind us at dawn.

It was a very calm night and morning with 8 boats in the anchorage. So much for Georgia's no anchoring laws!

It was planned as another long day to make up for the weather delays.

This bridge was a little too close for comfort but we have to trust our own measurements from water line to the top of our boat thingies that stick up in the air to make sure they don't hit a bridge. There are great fines to deal with otherwise. 
One bridge we got to was so close that we realized that as we were about to go under that we might only have inches, so we called the bridge tender and thankfully, she was accommodating. Their published information on clearance was not what was on the waterline day board! They quite often are not accommodating! 

As we go pass the Golden Ray (?) huge car freighter that sank in the sound, we see that it is still there but at least being worked on removal.


Steve and Ann, Sassy Kat (ex Sassy Kat) live close to Melbourne and let us know that there was to be a Space Ex launch today. We really didn't think that we would be able to see it this far north but we did!

Bella wants to know "when will I see grass again?"
She has been a real trouper and has been well!

Anchored at Crescent River, GA.
Storms coming tomorrow so we will hunker down one more time and wait for them to pass.

Miles today 65

Thursday April 23

Well, we did hunker down for the upcoming storm line that most of the US dealt with. It was mid afternoon by the time it hit us. We chose our anchorage as a safe place to be. Deep enough but not too deep, lots of marsh with no structures around for us to bounce off if we get loose. 
And then they came. Severe T storms including hail and tornado going through GA. Winds reported up to 60 mph. We had hail and strong winds with a tornado reported to have touched down 6 miles from us. We actually took precautions with our life jackets on and hunkered by the engine room door and stairwell during the hail storm. 
We had storms all night but not as severe. 

See where she is pointing to with the pretty pinky purple color? That is where we were. EXACTLY WHERE the worst part of the storm hit.

After this part of the storm, Rosie did what she does when she is nervous and anxious. Bakes!
I made a homemade chocolate cake. I had no idea I even had all the ingredients to make it but it is awesome! 

Sunset after the storms. In between the storms, really.


Friday April 24
Under way 7:45. Waited for last of storms to pass. It was a beautiful and calm morning.

But new surprises, the anchor chain jumped the windlass gypsy and ditched 50’ of chain before Bruce could stopped it.  We have no idea why that happened.

It was another long travel day, going through Georgia mostly at low tide plowing through. Some places have been dredged but not all. 
We got to Bull Creek off of Dafuskie at 6 PM and we had trouble with anchor. This time it would not deploy but Bruce managed to get it down and secure. It is always handy to have a hammer along with the wench handle that didn't seem to do the job. So we will see in the morning about getting it up. We have at least one if not two more nights before getting home.

Sunset cruise is back in business in Georgia. They came by us playing "Proud Mary" 
We danced on our deck with them.

 Miles today: About 73ish! 

Almost home.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Storms all around us, stayed put for 3 days!

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Sunrise at New Smyrna, Fl
We left New Smyrna on Saturday April 18

Our trip home started off with a couple of long days crossing the Okeechobee waterway with a couple more long days heading north, then we have had several short days maneuvering in between storms but mostly very strong winds. 

Titusville Marina and EMPTY mooring field!
We have stopped here several times in the last several years and the mooring field is generally pretty full. The mooring field is open but the marina is not accepting anyone there as it is with many marinas because of Covid 19.

We arrived at Matanzas Inlet early Saturday afternoon as the storms were again threatening to hit hard and we had been here before and knew the way in. It is a small boat ocean inlet as it has a low bridge that we can't go under. The current is strong but the water is clean.

Sunset at Matanza Inlet, with storms just on the horizon.

We stayed put here Saturday through today (Monday) because of the storms that have been hitting a bit north of us. No sense in driving into them. We watch them on several weather apps and on our Satellite Marine Weather station.

You would think it is a beach holiday around here!
It is Sunday, they have opened the local beaches and boat ramps and there are a ton of people and boaters out! We had a pretty bumpy afternoon just from their wakes.
More severe storms predicted late or early Monday morning so we will stay put still.

We woke to this on our radar. 

Summer Breeze is the red boat shown on the screen just under the black and yellow circle.
The rain and severe storm including tornados missed us totally as they went above and then below us.
We are happy campers and thought we could go ahead and get at least 20 miles (yahoo! It is amazing how excited we get about even traveling 20 miles!) under our belt and started to get ready but the winds were still very strong and pushing us around a lot. Gusts well into the 30s. 
We leave tomorrow morning, Tuesday and know we will have a good travel day!
So we both read some more and Rosie painted a bit.

My art website has my new paintings.

Beautiful night, finally!